The all-new Amazon Kindle (2022) has been launched in India at Rs. 9,999. Compared to the previous model which was priced at Rs. 7,999, the newer model has received a noticeable bump in price. On paper, the new Kindle (2022) comes with plenty of useful upgrades. This includes more storage, a compact and lighter design, and a much better display compared to the previous model. But, should you upgrade to it if you already own a 10th generation model? More importantly, is the slightly pricier Kindle Paperwhite a better deal at Rs. 13,999? Read on to find out.
Amazon Kindle (2022) build quality and design
The Amazon Kindle (2022) looks quite different compared to any previous Kindle model. This is mainly down to the new cosmetic design and the fact that Amazon's engineers have managed to shrink the bezels while still retaining the display's size at six inches. The new Kindle is now thinner than the sleek-looking Kindle Paperwhite by a mere 0.1mm and is available in Black and Denim finishes. I received the latter finish for this review.
Most of the above changes are mainly because Amazon switched to, what appears to be, a simpler matte-finished polycarbonate body. Without the optional cover, it feels far from premium, and since it lacks the soft rubber-like texture, it is also very slippery. The big curved arrow (smile) logo, which was first seen on the Kindle Paperwhite, replaces the usual Amazon branding on the back panel.
The large embossed logo has some sharp edges and the same can be said about the cut out for the USB Type-C port, which finally makes it to the base Kindle model too. Of course, you can attach the optional Kindle Fabric Cover which is available in four colours for an additional Rs. 1,799 to make it feel more premium.
The back panel and frame on the new Kindle is made from polycarbonate and feels a bit cheap
One of the main advantages of the polycarbonate body is that it makes the new Kindle (2022) a lot lighter at 158g, compared to the previous model. The slightly coarse texture of the body also means that it does not gather many fingerprints or smudges, which was the case with previous models, including the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.
When using it single-handed for reading, the new Amazon Kindle (2022) is only a bit taller than the iPhone 14 Pro, making it quite comfortable. However, any sort of interaction with the software such as browsing through the library, will still require you to use both hands. Despite its shrunken size, the bezels on the left and right sides have sufficient space and are thick enough for holding the Kindle properly while reading, without triggering any accidental page turns.
I usually prefered placing my thumb on the thicker bottom bezel (with my hand wrapped around the bottom corner). But since this Kindle is quite small, I was comfortable holding it in one hand just like a smartphone. Regardless of its plastic build quality (which also lacks an IP rating), the device felt quite solid and did not creak with applied pressure.
Amazon Kindle (2022) display and performance
The Amazon Kindle (2022)'s display may not have gotten an upgrade in terms of size or functionality, but it has gotten a rather useful upgrade in terms of resolution. It can now produce a much better 300ppi versus 167ppi in its predecessor. This upgrade, in a way, brings the basic Kindle on par with the more expensive Paperwhite, which has a slightly bigger 6.8-inch E Ink panel but with the same 16-level grayscale depth. The surface of the display on the new Kindle feels very paper-like and can still be used without the front light, provided there is enough ambient light.
The new display has a 300ppi pixel density which is a solid upgrade over the previous model
The 4-LED front light which made its way into the basic Kindle last year, is still present but remains the same in terms of functionality as it lacks the auto-adjustable warm light feature available with the Paperwhite, which makes for a more pleasing and comfortable reading experience. The white front light on the Kindle (2022) may feel a bit harsh in contrast when reading at night, but it can be toned down (0-24 levels) to a level of your choosing. What I do miss is the Paperwhite's ability to automatically adjust the front light depending on the surrounding light as apart from being really convenient, it also helps save battery.
Since I hate manually adjusting the brightness level of the front light, I set it to level 13 on the Amazon Kindle (2022) for the review period. With about an hour of reading every night and the Wi-Fi always switched on, the Kindle's battery level barely dropped by 15 percent in a week. Going by this average, we can estimate the Kindle (2022) to last a full month on a single charge, if you also follow a similar usage style.
If you are hardcore reader though (a few hours of reading everyday), you could expect it to last a little over two weeks on one charge, with front light and Wi-Fi always on. Charging the Kindle (2022) sure takes a while, which is something I noticed when I initially received the device. Amazon claims that a full charge takes about two hours using a 9W adapter, and I experienced something similar. The packaging only comes with a USB Type-C cable in the box.
The software experience is the same as you get on any other Kindle
The Kindle (2022) comes with Kindle version 5.15.1 software out of the box, which takes up about 3GB of space from the available 16GB of storage. For those who love to keep all their books on their Kindle, the upgrade from 8GB to 16GB is a nice touch indeed. You also get free Amazon cloud storage if one ever runs out of space. As for the software experience, it's pretty much the same experience as you get on any older or recently launched Kindle that's been upgraded to the latest software.
Recent software features include a swipe-down menu which can be accessed from anywhere within the interface, which provides access to quick controls such as airplane mode, dark mode, sync, a shortcut to the settings menu and the brightness slider for the front light. Dark mode is quite useful during night time reading as it manages to cut down the glare of the front light significantly, leaving only the text visible.
The Amazon Kindle (2022) comes with a few upgrades and the increase in storage capacity sure justifies its slightly higher price of Rs. 9,999. If you already own a 10th generation Kindle, there is no reason to upgrade to this one, unless you want an even smaller form factor or crave some more storage space for your e-books.
If you are in the market for your first e-reader and don't really have a budget in mind, then it makes sense to spend a bit more and get the new Kindle Paperwhite (2022). It's a better choice as it comes with a few luxuries (17-LED front light, adjustable warm light and IPX8 rating), along with a more modern-looking design for an additional Rs. 4,000 (for the 8GB variant). I would recommend getting the Kindle (2022) only if you are on a strict budget or are looking for the most portable Kindle possible.
- Compact and light design
- Gets more base storage
- High-resolution display
- USB Type-C port for charging
- Body feels a bit cheap and slippery
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